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Thread: The "Fix It" Diet

  1. #1
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    The "Fix It" Diet

    Since DH's heart attack a few weeks ago, we've been eating really well and sticking with a Mediterranean Diet approach. More recently a doctor friend suggested to DH he check out a cardiologist in south Florida (Dr. Chauncey Crandall), so we picked up his book "Fix It". Dr. Crandall presents his program to stop and even reverse heart disease. He says if you have a heart attack like DH did, where it is caused by an eruption of the artherosclerotic material, it indicates the plaque is unstable. So, among other things, he says what he has his patients do, with great success, is stick to his "Fix It" diet for 6 months, after which you return to a healthy, normal diet along the lines of the Mediterranean Diet.

    The "Fix It" diet is, in his words, "a radical, six-month, plant-based, oil-free diet. This diet concentrates on eating whole grains, potatoes and other starches, legumes (beans), vegetables and fruit." He does allow a small amount of oil for cooking as well as a small amount of nuts, fat free dairy and egg whites. Also, calories are restricted to 1800 per day for a man.

    So I'm just wondering if anyone else has tried anything like this. As he says, it's basically Dean Ornish's diet. It concerns me that it contains so little fat, but he says this approach cleans the body of unhealthy fats, promotes weight loss (which adds fat back into the bloodstream as your body burns body fat), and leads to stablizing your arterial plaque, reduces and stabilizes blood pressure as well as cholesterol, leading to being able to greatly reduce if not stop taking medications.

    To provide an example of what one might eat in a day, I can say today DH had steel cut oats along with a half grapefruit and an egg white omelet with mushrooms, onion and roasted red peppers for breakfast. Lunch was fat free cottage cheese, celery and cantaloupe. And dinner is Curried Vegetables (butternut squash, rutabaga, carrots, onions and broccoli) served with brown rice and Mango Chutney. (If the dinner dish is good I'll post the recipe and a review in a separate thread. )

    Lunch was a bit thin, but we had breakfast really late. On a normal day he would have needed a late afternoon snack that would likely contain nuts to hold him until dinner, or a greek yogurt based smoothie. It will be interesting to see how long we can stick with this and how he feels eating this way. I'm posting everything in a calorie counting program that will help me see how much protein/carb he's getting to ensure he's getting adequate protein.

    If he actually does this for 6 months, I told him the Mediterannean Diet is going to feel like eating cheesecake!
    Last edited by JulieM; 03-03-2013 at 07:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    You know what I think

    Interesting info on the national news with a british doc on how to lose weight....FASCINATING.

    Hope your DH is doing well.
    How is your infection coming along???

    hugs!!
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallycat View Post
    You know what I think

    Interesting info on the national news with a british doc on how to lose weight....FASCINATING.

    Hope your DH is doing well.
    How is your infection coming along???

    hugs!!
    You made me laugh out loud! I was thinking about you when I was posting this. DH is doing great! I'll PM you about the infection.

  4. #4
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    not this diet...but...

    I find that interesting about the "Fix It" Diet. I haven't heard of it nor it's author. However, I HAVE heard of:

    http://www.amazon.com/Prevent-Revers.../dp/1583333002

    Although the premise seems similar (plant-based oil free) there would be no dairy or cholesterol-related accommodations such as cottage cheese. Also, Dr. Esselstyn believes that this is a way of eating for life, not just doing it for a few months and then going on to a Mediterranean style diet. There are many following this way of eating and one discussion group can be found here:

    http://www.drmcdougall.com/

    Most "interesting" are the "Star McDougaller" stories where people talk about why they are doing that and what it has done for them.

    I'm vegan and actually believe this to be a good direction although I struggle still with my vegan junk food (chips, veganaise (fake mayo), earth balance (fake butter)....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulieM View Post
    So I'm just wondering if anyone else has tried anything like this. As he says, it's basically Dean Ornish's diet. It concerns me that it contains so little fat, but he says this approach cleans the body of unhealthy fats, promotes weight loss (which adds fat back into the bloodstream as your body burns body fat), and leads to stablizing your arterial plaque, reduces and stabilizes blood pressure as well as cholesterol, leading to being able to greatly reduce if not stop taking medications.


    (us vegetarians!!!)

    To provide an example of what one might eat in a day, I can say today DH had steel cut oats along with a half grapefruit and an egg white omelet with mushrooms, onion and roasted red peppers for breakfast. Lunch was fat free cottage cheese, celery and cantaloupe. And dinner is Curried Vegetables (butternut squash, rutabaga, carrots, onions and broccoli) served with brown rice and Mango Chutney. (If the dinner dish is good I'll post the recipe and a review in a separate thread. )

    Lunch was a bit thin, but we had breakfast really late. On a normal day he would have needed a late afternoon snack that would likely contain nuts to hold him until dinner, or a greek yogurt based smoothie. It will be interesting to see how long we can stick with this and how he feels eating this way. I'm posting everything in a calorie counting program that will help me see how much protein/carb he's getting to ensure he's getting adequate protein.

    If he actually does this for 6 months, I told him the Mediterannean Diet is going to feel like eating cheesecake!
    I have a lovely tofu cheesecake recipe that's made in the slowcooker if you like.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoey55 View Post
    I find that interesting about the "Fix It" Diet. I haven't heard of it nor it's author. However, I HAVE heard of:

    http://www.amazon.com/Prevent-Revers.../dp/1583333002

    Although the premise seems similar (plant-based oil free) there would be no dairy or cholesterol-related accommodations such as cottage cheese. Also, Dr. Esselstyn believes that this is a way of eating for life, not just doing it for a few months and then going on to a Mediterranean style diet. There are many following this way of eating and one discussion group can be found here:

    http://www.drmcdougall.com/

    Most "interesting" are the "Star McDougaller" stories where people talk about why they are doing that and what it has done for them.

    I'm vegan and actually believe this to be a good direction although I struggle still with my vegan junk food (chips, veganaise (fake mayo), earth balance (fake butter)....
    Thanks for the links and info! Actually Dr. Crandall talks about Dr. Esselstyn's diet plan and suggests doing it in place of his "Fix It" diet, but he finds it too strict as a lifestyle. I do find it kind of strange that he calls his diet a plant based program, but allows dairy and egg protein.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavy hedonist View Post
    I have a lovely tofu cheesecake recipe that's made in the slowcooker if you like.
    Yes I would love to have it, thanks!

  8. #8
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    I am confused about why this diet promotes so many carbs. Carbs IMHO lead to spikes in blood sugar and also inflammation, which is essentially what heart disease is.

    You mention it being low in fat, but I am more concerned about being low in protein. You need protein to keep the carbs more steady in your blood stream.

    THe sample menu you mentioned for the day doesn't sound too bad to me - I'd like to see more veggies and maybe more protein, a handful of nuts or something. I would not go crazy with potatoes or white rice for example.
    Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BucknellAlum View Post
    I am confused about why this diet promotes so many carbs. Carbs IMHO lead to spikes in blood sugar and also inflammation, which is essentially what heart disease is.

    You mention it being low in fat, but I am more concerned about being low in protein. You need protein to keep the carbs more steady in your blood stream.

    THe sample menu you mentioned for the day doesn't sound too bad to me - I'd like to see more veggies and maybe more protein, a handful of nuts or something. I would not go crazy with potatoes or white rice for example.
    I don't know that it actually promotes carbs as much as it rejects animal protein and fat. You're encouraged to eat plenty of non-animal protein, but I also have the same concern as you. I've been monitoring his carb/protein/fat ratio these last few days and he's about 65% carb, 15% protein, 20% fat. What do you think? Is that enough protein?

    It's amazing how much fat you consume, even when you're seriously avoiding it.

  10. #10
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    That still sounds high in carbs and low in protein to me, and I am not necessarily touting a super low carb diet. Here is from the Livestrong website, which has a nice summary:

    The dietary reference intakes from the Food and Nutrition Board for fats, proteins and carbohydrates are ranges. For adults, proteins should be between 10 and 35 percent of the diet, fats between 20 and 35 percent and carbohydrates between 45 and 65 percent. Joanne Larsen, writing for the Ask the Dietitian website, counsels that an acceptable balanced diet is 20 percent of your calories from proteins, 30 percent from fats and 50 percent from carbohydrates, or a ratio of 0.4-to-0.6-to-1.

    Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/30...#ixzz2MtDAO43c

    Here is another article summarizing a JAMA study showing the Mediterranean diet (low glycemic) as being the one best for weight loss and it gives the ratios for low carb, low fat and low glycemic diets:

    http://www.takepart.com/article/2012...anean-diet-win


    What is the thinking behind limiting animal protein? And how is he feeling on this diet?
    Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BucknellAlum View Post
    That still sounds high in carbs and low in protein to me, and I am not necessarily touting a super low carb diet. Here is from the Livestrong website, which has a nice summary:

    The dietary reference intakes from the Food and Nutrition Board for fats, proteins and carbohydrates are ranges. For adults, proteins should be between 10 and 35 percent of the diet, fats between 20 and 35 percent and carbohydrates between 45 and 65 percent. Joanne Larsen, writing for the Ask the Dietitian website, counsels that an acceptable balanced diet is 20 percent of your calories from proteins, 30 percent from fats and 50 percent from carbohydrates, or a ratio of 0.4-to-0.6-to-1.

    Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/30...#ixzz2MtDAO43c

    Here is another article summarizing a JAMA study showing the Mediterranean diet (low glycemic) as being the one best for weight loss and it gives the ratios for low carb, low fat and low glycemic diets:

    http://www.takepart.com/article/2012...anean-diet-win


    What is the thinking behind limiting animal protein? And how is he feeling on this diet?
    Thanks so much! Great info! FYI the calorie counting program I use relies on the American Heart Association ratios which are 60% carb/15% protein/25% fat, so basically so far, his meals are coming out much this way for protein, but more carb and less fat.

    I don't know the rationale behind Dr. Crandall's diet other than limiting fat, especially saturated fat, so it sort of follows the Ornish diet for heart disease. He says in his book the goal is to clean away the bad fats in the body, and also to lose weight if the patient is overweight. At the end of 6 months, you would then return to a more normal albeit healthy diet that can include animal protein and fats.

    DH appears to feel fine on this diet, which surprises me! I think a factor is that he is not allowed to do much physically at this stage, so other than an easy walk (keeping his heart rate under 100bpm) he's pretty sedentary. The meds he's on lowers his heart rate too, in order to allow his heart to heal. Point being, he's not expending a lot of energy so it's not taking as much food to satisfy him. Once he starts the cardio physical therapy 3 times a week next month, I suspect he'll require more food to be satisfied.

    Thank goodness he's allowed fat free dairy and egg whites or else achieving a decent amount of protein would be a lot more difficult. I'll try to increase the protein, especially once he's exercising more. He'll need it to help build/restore muscle.

    Thanks again for the info and links!!

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